The Stranger Is Wrong to Mock I-103


I agree with the reasoning.

Part of the reason for the great economic unbalances is that society in general has been willing to absorb a lot of costs in exchange for the ultimate technological improvements that business brings. However, like businessmen, we should always be asking if we're getting a fair deal or not. So, yes, your coal train brings jobs, energy, and hence, I should get out of the way. But at the same time, you're spewing coal dust into my lungs...and while I'm willing to shave a few months off my lifespan in order that the next generation will build a hydrogen infrastructure using that coal, am I today fairly compensated...or even overcompensated given the benefits.
Their first mistake was expecting decent coverage from The Stranger.
I stone cold disagree with the zoning part.

I'd probably vote yes otherwise. A lot of it sounds futile but what the heck - good intentions should count for something.

Adding *more* veto points to a land use system already infested with them is crazy, though.
The Stranger applauds activists, yes, but usually only the smart, effective ones. Just because they went overboard praising Occupy doesn't mean they owe a handy to every righteous yahoo who comes a-knockin'.
I think Reifman didn't read the article.

The Stranger is against the form of your activism. They're not against activism on its own. They're not against change. They're against poorly-thought-out forms of activism because poorly-thought-out forms of activism steal energy and effort from well-planned activism.

Your petition tackles more than one issue. It will fail any constitutional challenge, for good reason! Not only will it fail constitutional challenge, but also it will feed red meat to your opponents who already dismiss the people who support your cause as naive, unable to live in the real world, and plain-old hippie-dippie.

If you want to make the world different, please at least learn how the current world works. Otherwise, at best, you're wasting our time.
This is a terrible idea. If we give rights to whales we're going to have to create new voting booths big enough for them or provide underwater polling places with poll workers in scuba suits. Besides, everyone knows Orca's are extremely conservative so they're all going to vote Republican anyway.
Rights-based measures won't work until we actually have a more comprehensive rights-structure in the United States. Groups like these should work to ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, so that we can actually have a legal structure which can support measures like these.
Too wide a range of issues on one initiative.
Each worth considering separately, but goofy piled together.
What @8 said. When The Stranger first covered it, it felt like I was reading six different news articles in one. Don't pack all your idealistic changes into one initiative, it's way too confusing. Also, saving the whales? That's, like, so 1993.
This is literally the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. It is precisely the sort of dipshit activism that makes it so easy for those on the right to belittle and demean people on the left. Stop it. Just stop.
your initiative is bad and you should feel bad.
Somebody has never heard of the "single subject rule".

Honestly KCE should actually vet for this rather than let well-meaning kooks waste time and money on doomed initiatives.
"The reason the coal train can't be stopped is because Seattle residents have no legal rights to protect our environment from unmitigatable harms;"

I'm pretty sure they can't be stopped because local governments can't stop Inter-state commerce which is controlled by the Federal government. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to stop the coal trains but this will not stop it at all. Strawman fail.

Maybe one day i'll actually register ...
i103 is a Community Bill of Rights for Seattle ... as the city attorney's ballot title describes, it's single-subject "concerns local rights and restrictions on corporations to achieve those rights"

In Washington State cases, courts have upheld initiatives as written 91% of the time (see Aggressive Enforcement of the Single Subject Rule):…
Will, you are correct that ultimately, it's granting Constitutional commerce clause protections to corporations is what allows the coal train to come through Seattle despite community wishes.

I103 would authorize the city council to protect our community with Rights for Nature; and corporations that attempt to challenge these regulations would not have personhood rights or constitutional protections, such as the commerce clause. If the city does not step up to protect our community, i103 allows for any citizen to have standing to do so. I103 also includes a formal call to state and federal officials to change laws that currently allow corporations to overturn the health, safety and wellbeing of communities nationwide.


Also, see Section 5d of i103 for the exact text below:
(d) Corporate Constitutional Powers. Corporations in violation of the rights and prohibitions established by this ordinance, or seeking to engage in activities prohibited by this ordinance, shall not have the rights of “persons” afforded by the United States or State Constitution, nor shall those Corporations be afforded rights under the First or Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution or corresponding sections of the State Constitution.

(e) Corporate Preemption Powers.

(1) Corporations in violation of the rights or prohibitions established by this ordinance, or seeking to engage in activities prohibited by this ordinance, shall not possess the authority or power to enforce State or federal preemptive law against the people of this municipality, or to challenge or overturn municipal ordinances adopted by this municipality, when that enforcement or challenge interferes with the rights asserted by this ordinance, or interferes with the authority of the municipality to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its residents.

(2) No permit, license, privilege or charter issued by any State or federal agency, Commission or local government to any person or any Corporation operating under a State charter, or any director, officer, owner, manager or agent of a Corporation operating under a State charter, which would violate the prohibitions of this ordinance or deprive any municipal residents of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by this ordinance, the State Constitution, the United States Constitution, or other laws, shall be deemed valid within this municipality.…
Alden, if you want to read our opinion on the zoning (this has definitely been the most controversial part of i103) ... check out:…

"Governmental projects such as those that relate to public transit, health and safety are exempt from this clause e.g. fire and police stations, public schools, housing, shelters and health facilities. Any proposed change primarily geared towards these goals is exempt, even if some portion of the project is built by private funding.

It’s our belief that majority (50.01%) approval should be a baseline for changing zoning with neighborhoods and that all commercial projects have at least this level of support."

Is that really so radical?
Thanks for explaining the reasoning behind this. It's way way early at best but it does get one thinking. Thanks to The Stranger for putting up the rebuttal.

I applaud Mr. Reifman for his efforts to reign in corporate power. I'm frankly shocked that so many commenters are falling over themselves to defend corporations and cede our rights as individuals and a community.

Come November I will cast a vote for the kind of world I want to live in.